400 Seymour students choose online learning to start the school year


About 400 Seymour Community School Corp. students plan to start the school year from home due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, a school official said.

That number represents less than 10% of the district’s overall student enrollment of 4,900.

But Assistant Superintendent Lisa Ferguson expects the number to change daily as parents and guardians make the best decision for their children and families ahead of the first day of school Monday.

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“More than ever before, it’s a case-by-case, situational type of environment that we find ourselves in,” she said.

Most, if not all, of those parents or guardians choosing to keep children home are doing so because the child has a health condition that makes them more susceptible to illness or they live with a family member who does.

“When our families have chosen online, we try to make individual contact with them just to talk about what they are needing and to make sure they understand how it will work,” Ferguson said.

Unlike eLearning in the spring where students logged on and finished work on their own time, students will be required to remote in when classes are in session.

“We have made a distinction between eLearning and online learning,” Ferguson said.

The use of eLearning will be for short periods of time, like in the event of school closures due to inclement weather or power outages, she said.

Teachers post lists of tasks for students that relate to what would have been done in class that can usually be done in one to three hours per day.

“It’s a patch to keep learning going until you return in just a few days,” Ferguson said. “It’s not like a full day of school. It’s a short-term solution because it’s a short-term interruption in their instruction.”

Online learning is a solution for when a student is going to be away from the classroom for a longer period of time. In this case, at least nine weeks.

“Students who choose online will have remote access to the classes during the time they are going on,” she said. “So they remote into the classroom, and they are on the same timeline as the other students. They are doing the same work or possibly an alternate assignment.”

Children will not be in front of the computer for six hours straight because of breaks for lunch, recess, passing periods and other noninstructional times, Ferguson said.

In order to get a more accurate count of how many students will be learning from home, Ferguson said all families need to register their children for school online through the corporation’s new student management system Harmony. The registration link is accessible on the corporation’s website at www.scsc.k12.in.us/parents-menu/enrollment.

It doesn’t matter if students are new or returning, they still need to be registered, Ferguson said.

“On our Harmony registration form, there is a section where they can check online learning if that is the option they want,” she said.

The only exception is kindergarten students, who already have registered.

If families registered for online learning but since have changed their minds, they still can send their children to school on the first day, Ferguson said.

“We can change that,” she said.

Of the 400 who have chosen online learning, Ferguson said it is spread out more or less proportionally between the elementary, middle school and high school levels.

“It’s not like they’re mostly elementary,” she said. “I think that it’s very well spread out.”

Ferguson remains optimistic about the situation because students and teachers are still learning and growing.

“One of the things we’ve always tried to do at Seymour Community Schools is we try to evaluate what we do and always try to get better,” she said.

She credits the schools’ plans and ability to offer both in-person and online instruction to the work put in by teachers and administrators.

“We want our students to have every advantage through whatever comes our way because you can’t predict anymore,” she said. “What we have done just reaffirms that working together, we can get through it.”

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Seymour Community School Corp. student registration information

New and returning students need to register for the 2020-21 school year.

The registration link is accessible on the corporation’s website at scsc.k12.in.us/parents-menu/enrollment.

The first day of school is Monday.


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